Nawal El Moutawakel is far from a household name. But she's a significant figure in sports history.
In 1984, El Moutawakel, a native of Morocco, became both the first person to win the women's 400-meter hurdles in the Olympic Games and the first woman from a Muslim-majority country to bring home the gold in any event. The only woman among the Moroccan Olympic delegation at the time El Moutawakel brought a level of visibility and possibility to women's athletics unheard of in the Muslim world.
She has spent the last 35 years promoting sport as a component of a fulfilling life for young women worldwide, but especially in her home country. And since 1998, she's been a member of the International Olympic Committee.
She's not much of a golfer, but in her conversation with Golf Advisor Editor-at-Large that comprises Episode 12 of the Golf Advisor Podcast, you'll learn that her unique story translates to all sports, and that she's even inspired golfers.
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Some topics from the conversation:
- El Moutawakel recounts the “beautiful memories” of her pioneering Gold Medal run in the first-ever Women’s 400-meter Hurdles. She was the only woman in the Moroccan delegation that year, and her gold medal was the first for a woman from a majority-Muslim country.
- She expands on her family background, including the ways in which her mother inspired her journey in sports.
- El Moutawakel comments on the rise in participation by women in Olympic sports in Morocco, including Maha Haddioui, a golfer who competed in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
- Why El Moutawakel retired from competition at the age of just 24, and what she is most proud of in her eventful life since her Olympics triumph.
- What potential visitors (including golfers) need to know about Morocco, and why they should visit.